Apple Tree Childcare Centre - 20/11/2013

1 Evaluation of Apple Tree Childcare Centre

How well placed is Apple Tree Childcare Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Apple Tree Childcare in Glenfield, Auckland provides full day education and care for up to 20 children with a maximum of 16 less than two years of age. It is one of 3 centres owned by the licensee. The supervisor began her leadership of the centre in January 2012. She and most of the staff have been working in both Apple Tree centres for several years.

The centre’s philosophy guides teachers to provide children with a ‘home away from home’. It places value on celebrating cultural diversity and open communication with parents.

The 2010 ERO report noted that babies and children received high quality care and that children learned to make choices, initiate play and to solve problems independently. These characteristics continue to be evident. The report recommended some developments to programme planning and assessment practices. Centre managers have responded positively to these recommendations.

The Review Findings

Effective leadership is a significant factor in contributing to the high quality care and education for children in the centre. The knowledgeable and professional licensee and manager work collaboratively with staff to maintain a common understanding about expectations for their professional practice. Centre decision-making involves input from staff, parents and sometimes children. Managers and staff value and promote partnership with parents in their children’s learning and development.

The centre’s philosophy is very evident in teaching practice and children’s play. There is a calm, settled tone in the centre and children enjoy positive respectful relationships with adults and each other. Teachers provide individual nurturing care for infants and toddlers and build trusting relationships with them.

Children benefit from individualised, intentional and responsive teaching from staff. Teaching practices facilitate children’s language development and engagement in learning. They support children to make independent choices and to follow their interests. Teachers foster children’s language, culture and identity in the centre.

The learning environment is well resourced and adapted in response to regular review of how well space is being used. Children have ready access to an outdoor area that allows for a range of engaging activities and provides a newly established sheltered area.

In the centre there are initiatives that promote and affirm Māori children’s sense of belonging and connectedness. Te reo and tikanga Māori are integrated into the programme, environment and centre practices. Teachers demonstrate a commitment to continue building upon their current good practice in this area.

Well-considered planning and assessment practices support the centre’s responsive curriculum. Flexible approaches allow teachers to cater for children’s individual and emerging interests. Planning is well documented and evaluated and is visible for children and parents. Teachers continually refine planning processes to enable them to promote an evolving curriculum that meaningfully follows children’s interests.

The licensee and manager have a strong commitment to self review and professional learning and development. Robust appraisal processes support teachers to develop as professional practitioners. Teachers and managers continually reflect on the effectiveness of their practices to support children to learn. Professional learning meaningfully links to development areas identified through self review and often involves external advisers who provoke teachers to think more deeply about their practice.

Key Next Steps

ERO has confidence in managers’ capability to monitor and review the effectiveness of centre practices and to identify future improvements to promote positive outcomes for children’s learning and development.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Apple Tree Childcare Centre completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum

  • premises and facilities

  • health and safety practices

  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)

  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)

  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Apple Tree Childcare Centre will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

20 November 2013

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Glenfield, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10313

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

20 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll

18

Gender composition

Boys 9

Girls 9

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

Other Asian

1

12

1

4

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2013

Date of this report

20 November 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2010

 

Education Review

April 2007

 

Education Review

June 2004

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.